About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

7/9/14 – 6:48 A.M.

We could know by tomorrow if the Van Buren school district will put a building levy on the November ballot. The Courier reports the $29.3 million tax proposal has to be submitted to the board of elections by August 6.

In the meantime the district is trying to get a feel for what the community will support. Around 30 people showed up at a meeting last night to talk about a public survey. The issue is only 146 people took the survey. In contrast, more than 1,000 people voted on the school issue in the May primary, and more than 60% of them voted no.

The survey showed 47 percent of people who responded though building a new gym and 34 new classrooms was a high priority. 36 percent said the public couldn’t afford the 37-year, 6.9 mill bond issue.

MORE: The Courier

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7/9/14 – 5:26 A.M.

The Hancock County grand jury indicted a former Findlay man on an involuntary manslaughter charge Tuesday. 49-year-old Randall Rice was also indicted on a charge of corrupting another with drugs.

Prosecutors say Rice provided 35-year-old Tara Mitsch with cocaine on August 31. Mitsch then died from combined drug toxicity at Rice’s house at 517 Clinton St. in Findlay.

Rice was already sentenced on drug charges earlier this year. He was ordered to serve five years of intensive community control sanctions for convictions that included cocaine possession.

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7/9/14 – 5:12 A.M.

A workplace accident injured two people near Carey last night. The Wyandot County Sheriff’s Office reports emergency crews were called to Andersons Mineral Processing at 1855 County Road 99 a little after 7 p.m.

Initial reports say a piece of equipment fell on two people at the plant. One victim was taken by medical helicopter to an area hospital. The other was taken by ambulance to a hospital.

No other details were made available.


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7/9/14 – 5:07 A.M.

Negotiations between Hancock County and the union that represents sheriff’s deputies don’t appear to be going anywhere. The Courier received a fact-finding report on the issue from the State Employment Relations Board this week. The reports says the sides can’t agree on pay raises and health insurance premiums.

The union wants a 4 percent raise in each year of a three year contract. The county is offering a 1.75 percent increase per year. The fact-finder recommended raises of 2.25 percent, 2.5 percent, and 2.75 percent. That was rejected by a union vote last month.

The union is also fighting a proposed 1 percent increase in each of the next three years to the employee share of health insurance premiums.

Sheriff Michael Heldman tells the newspaper binding arbitration is now being sought.

MORE: The Courier

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7/9/14 – 4:54 A.M.

A Findlay man accused of killing his infant son wants to change his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity. The Courier reports an attorney for 25-year-old Jerrod Hartman has filed a motion with the Hancock County Common Pleas Court. The motion argues Hartman suffers from a condition known as parasomnia. According to the Cleveland Clinic, parasomnias are disorders that result in people having outbursts while they are asleep.

Hartman was charged with murder and endangering children after his 44-day-old son was found dead in late October. A coroner’s report says the child died from multiple blunt trauma. Hartman remains free on a $250,000 bond.

A pretrial hearing is scheduled for tomorrow.

MORE: The Courier

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7/8/14 – 11:09 A.M.

Another tax deadline is coming up this week. Hancock County real estate taxes for the second half of 2013 are due this Friday. County Tresurer Steve Welton says payments can be made in his office between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Taxes can also be paid at many banks in the area, although three are no longer participating.

Mailed payments postmarked July 11 will also be considered on time.

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7/8/14 – 10:49 A.M.

The Hancock County Commissioners took care of some business related to flood mitigation today. A resolution was passed to buy properties at 202 and 204 North Main Street in Findlay for $135,000. The buildings will eventually be torn down to deduce damage done by future flooding.

Aleta Foust of the Hancock Regional Planning Commission talked about the same issue. She says the organization is getting ready to apply for another round of grants to get money to buy and demolish more buildings in the flood plain. This grant is a little different than others though…

Audio: Aleta Foust

Foust says that will help stretch the money even further.

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7/8/14 – 6:42 A.M.

Two people were injured in a two car crash near Fostoria Monday. The State Patrol reports the crash happened at the intersection of State Route 587 and Seneca County Road 18 around 8:30 a.m.

44-year-old Jonathan Ayers of Findlay was stopped at the intersection when he pulled into the path of a pickup truck driven by 31-year-old Eric Bouillon of New Riegel. Both men were taken to ProMedica Fostoria Community Hospital for treatment on non-life threatening injuries.

Ayers was cited for failure to yield after a stop.


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7/8/14 – 5:25 A.M.

Bluffton officials are still waiting to hear what the damage estimate from water damage to the town hall will be. The Courier reports Village Administrator James Mehaffie told council Monday he hasn’t heard back from an insurance adjustor since last speaking on June 19. Mehaffie added the last estimate he heard was between $150,000 and $250,000.

The town hall was damaged in May when at least 1,500 gallons of water poured into the building from a broken sprinkler head.

The building was refurbished in 2008 at cost of $2.75 million.

MORE: The Courier

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7/8/14 – 5:11 A.M.

A special meeting of the North Baltimore village council could be an eventful one. The Courier reports council will consider hiring Donna Dettling of Dexter, Michigan as the next village administrator. The starting salary for the job is $70,000.

Council could also consider an ordinance to adjust sewer rates. Many residents have complained about the higher rates that took affect in the spring.

The special meeting’s agenda also will have council consider hiring paid emergency medical technicians to help the staff of the village ambulance service.

MORE: The Courier

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